Season 10
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Illustration of a single large cicada surrounded by smaller cicadas with a green background.

The cicadas are back for some fun in the sun, and this time, they’re louder than ever! For the first time since 1803, Broods XIII and XIX will be emerging at the same time, covering the American South and Midwest with trillions of cicadas. As Smithsonian entomologist Floyd Shockley readies his nets for the biggest bug invasion in centuries, we look back at the emergence of Brood X in 2021 and explore how cicadas have captivated our human ancestors for millennia.



Smithsonian Links:

  • Smithsonian magazine has even more fascinating cicada facts that weren’t covered in this episode, including cicada-inspired songs and how a certain fungus can turn cicadas into amphetamine-fueled zombies.
  • Humans have been fascinated by cicadas for centuries. Learn more about traditional cicada stories and songs from Chinese, Hopi, and Greek mythology in an article by James Deutsch for the Smithsonian’s Folklife magazine.
  • See more beautiful examples of ancient cicada carvings from the collections of the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Asian Art.
  • Celebrate this once in a lifetime emergence with your very own cicada swag. From "my first brood" onesies to festive tote bags and bucket hats, the limited-edition cicada collection from the Smithsonian Store and National Museum of Natural History has something for everyone!

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